East End Film Festival: Pin Cushion

Pin Cushion
Pin Cushion
Directed by Deborah Heywood
Starring Lily Newmark, Joanna Scanlan, Loris Scarpa, Sacha Cordy-Nice, Bethany Antonia, Saskia Paige Martin and Sophia Tuckey
Screening at EEFF April 22nd, 2018

by Bernie C Byrnes

Super close Mother, Lyn (Joanna Scanlan), and daughter, Iona (Lily Newmark), are excited for their new life in a new town. Determined to make a success of things after a tricky start, Iona becomes ‘best friends’ with Keely (Sacha Cordy-Nice), Stacie (Saskia Paige Martin) and Chelsea (Bethany Antonia). As much as Lyn and Iona pretend to each other that things are going great, things aren’t going great for either of them. Both Mother and Daughter retreat into fantasy and lies.

Don’t let the actors’ names fool you, Keely, Stacie and Chelsea are as unpleasant a gaggle of teenage girls as you could ever wish not to meet. Keely’s self-awareness that she is as trapped in her role of bully as the girls she preys upon does nothing to make this thoroughly unpleasant character any more sympathetic.

In fact there are no likeable characters in this film at all and everyone is a victim. I wanted to shake each and every one of them! Pin Cushion is horrible – really horrible. A more accurate depiction of life as a teenage girl would be hard to find. Nothing makes sense and everyone is out to get you.

It is superbly acted and beautifully directed but lacks purpose. I think the ending is intended to be hopeful but it brought me little comfort given that the world depicted is so irredeemably vile and the characters so inherently unlikable. This film was too close to real life for my liking. It made me feel icky.


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